Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
This dissertation examines teachers' perceptions and realizations of critical literacy learning as they engaged in collaborative inquiry into their students' learning. Participants used critical discourse analysis (CDA) of student writing and student talk to uncover the ideologies at work in their classrooms. This study also investigated teachers' perceptions of tensions related to their work with critical literacy. This study extends ideas from the research literature about teachers' perceptions and realizations of critical literacy and the potential of CDA for critical literacy and professional learning.
This qualitative study was guided by ethnographic principles to understand participants' perspectives through their experiences with CDA and critical literacy learning. The investigation involved 11 participants from the existing critical literacy teacher group of 20 teachers.
A focus group of five teachers was selected from the larger group to participate in focus group interviews, classroom observations and informal interviews. Data sources included interview data, classroom observation fieldnotes, participant reflection journals, and transcripts from teacher group working sessions provided descriptive data about teachers' perceptions of their work with critical literacy across professional learning, classroom practice and personal reflections. Data were analyzed with two different methods: grounded theory and existing typologies for content analysis.
Evidence from the data suggests that through CDA, tensions emerged that led to changes in participants' perceptions and realizations of critical literacy. CDA also contributed to changes in participants' perceptions and realizations of critical literacy learning, in particular in how they recognized multiple perspectives, how they envisioned discourse in other aspects of critical literacy, and how they engaged in learning for critical literacy.
This study raises implications for the use of CDA for critical literacy and professional learning, and the use of short texts for CDA. This study also points to the value of focusing on tensions as sites for professional learning.
Winney, Kelly, "Teachers' Perceptions And Realizations Of Critical Literacy" (2012). Wayne State University Dissertations. 625.